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Half-Life: Alyx


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On 31/03/2020 at 00:27, Capwn said:

Can anyone spoiler how long this this? Just started chapter 6.

 

I can't believe what they have achieved here. I was kinda expecting a Batman VR type 2-3 hr experience where you go through some atmospheric areas, do some puzzles with a set pieces with enemies. Perhaps a separate shooting range kind of mode added on. Nope, this is a full-on proper game. It's insane that this kinda came out of nowhere. 


No joke, I’ve put about ten hours in and I’m on chapter 3. Just really taking my time, messing about, replaying sections to try different things etc. 

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Just finished chapter JEFF, I'm a broken shell of a human after that. 

 

Spoiler

I'm not usually ever scared in games but that was unsettling, I think it's the crippling feeling of having to keep using your hand to cover your mouth. That initial bit where you realize you have to lock him in the room, you finally do it and then that moment you realize 'Oh, I have to let him out again to connect these wall wires' :( and then it just keeps playing with you, throwing you into all sorts of horrible scenarios where you have to make noise. Even the collectibles are set up in such a way that they create noise. It just keeps ramping up. The satisfaction of getting out.

 

I'm holding out before giving my full impressions of this game but it's full of continuous memories, memories that I think stick more because VR somehow makes them more memorable. These little moments where you really believed you were in a certain moment within this world. 

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I just started playing this on my first gen Vive with the wireless kit. Damn! it looks and performs amazingly. I only just got to the bits with the crabs, and I am not sure if I can go on, they scare the crap out of me! It looks and plays like no other VR game, ..well any other game. Truly amazing so far!

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There are some insane next level optimizations going on here. There ARE other VR games with graphics as polished and high end as this but they don't run very well and get quite uncomfortable quickly. I've noticed that if you look directly down, depending on how your headset is placed you can see effects like shadows vanishing. There is a very fancy level of detail system based on reducing lighting/shadows/polycount on objects outside of your vision. I'm sure that's just a small fraction of the clever tech they have here to be able to have such a large game that is so polished and can be played on for over a hour with no sickness at all. I think my longest session is 2 hours. In the past I think about 30mins was my usual limit before feeling at the very least 'VR fatigued'. Not sick (I'm finding that's less common these days) but just a sense of some kind of energy fatigue.

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2 minutes ago, Thor said:

@Capwn Regarding Jeff...

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Did you find the gas/face mask you can wear that lets you breathe though Jeff's fumes?

 

 

Oh! No I was using the initial method all the way through :(

 

VR has come a long way since my first VR kit (Oculus DK 2) where I played many horrendous unofficial 'indie' demos that would really make me ill. Including a fairground ride that span you round and round over this city. That was my first and real head messing moment, I tried to keep going, just out of curiosity and when it stopped I was absolutely fucked. Would even 'remember' the feeling for weeks afterwards where even the memory brought back a mild queasiness.  

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On a different note, was playing last night, and tried to stop a door closing with my shoulder as I was reaching for something. :lol:

 

That's the level of fidelity, realism, and sense of place that Valve has achieved with this game. It's an astonishing achievement.

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On 26/03/2020 at 19:59, Lazlow said:

 

I'm running it on a 970 & 2600k. Settings are low, apart from textures, soft cloth and rag dolls, and it runs totally fine outside of an initial burst of action be it multiple enemies appearing or an explosion but it settles down quickly; you'll be fine.

 

DId you finish it on this setup? Thinking of getting this and only have a 970 too (with a Ryzen 5 1600 processor and 16GB RAM)... The min specs say 6GB of VRAM.... :-\ Had a look around the net and seems to fine on a 970 on low settings.... 

 

Edit: For other GTX970 owners wondering:- 

https://www.game-debate.com/news/28587/half-life-alyx-pc-performance-report-graphics-card-benchmarks

 

Looks to be mostly fine on Low settings... good for me. Will look at getting this at some point....

image.thumb.png.43665175eeb8f3d36adf3a5308f366a6.png

 

 

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finished this the other day, i liked it, despite usually not getting very far in games like this- ones where you walk around in VR, they make me feel a bit sick so I give up. This lets you teleport and rotate at the same time which seems to help a bit, as it’s the rotation which really gets me. Could only play in 1 to 1.5 hours at a time, then needed a rest, so it took a while to finish. the motion controls work really well when facing the right way, like picking up stuff, searching cupboards, reloading guns, etc, ... i say facing the right way because my setup isn’t the best and caused a few problems, I’m sure it’d be better if you had loads of room and could walk around and stuff. And with an old rift with 2 cameras it struggles when you turn around. It was fine most of the time as you can just reposition, but if you get stuck in a fight it's not great.

 

fighting the monsters was fun, didn’t find the people as cool to fight against. some cool puzzles. really like the grenades and 

Spoiler

 

stealing grenades from the alien grenade plant things.

 

the Jeff section was ace too.

 

I didn’t like the section with all the explosive barrels, one false move and everything explodes - lots of reloading.

 

chapter 3 and the hotel go on a bit too long.

 

 

It’s quite scary/stressful sometimes but not too bad. as usual in games I stockpile the fancy stuff for when I really need it...which leads to barely ever using a gun other than the pistol, but the pistol is cool so it’s fine. oh yeah it looks really nice too. so yeah thumbs up :)

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By the way, I shifted my install to my C drive, which is an M. 2 NVME and stupidly fast. Load times are still 20-35 seconds, so it's definitely setup related. 

 

I'm a Rift S user. Are people with faster times using a different setup? 

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13 hours ago, MattyP said:

 

DId you finish it on this setup? Thinking of getting this and only have a 970 too (with a Ryzen 5 1600 processor and 16GB RAM)... The min specs say 6GB of VRAM.... :-\ Had a look around the net and seems to fine on a 970 on low settings.... 

 

Edit: For other GTX970 owners wondering:- 

https://www.game-debate.com/news/28587/half-life-alyx-pc-performance-report-graphics-card-benchmarks

 

Looks to be mostly fine on Low settings... good for me. Will look at getting this at some point....

image.thumb.png.43665175eeb8f3d36adf3a5308f366a6.png

 

 

 

I'm about to start the last chapter and it's been very playable the whole time; both my CPU and GPU are overclocked for what it's worth; CPU at 4.2ghz and GPU with a 200mhz boost. I've found myself more CPU bound than anything so you'll probably be totally fine.

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5 hours ago, Treble said:

By the way, I shifted my install to my C drive, which is an M. 2 NVME and stupidly fast. Load times are still 20-35 seconds, so it's definitely setup related. 

 

I'm a Rift S user. Are people with faster times using a different setup? 

Strange, I'm a Rift S user, also on an M.2 NVME, and I'm getting an average of 10 second load times.

 

edit: Could it be GPU ram related? 

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There'll be a commonality. What happens is, when loading switches to the dark screen with the grey floor, the image starts to break up. After about 5 seconds, the Steam egg timer appears (very briefly) then the 'loading' map appears. It then takes about 5 seconds to stabilise and stays on that for about 10 seconds until the 'press trigger' prompt appears. 

 

I'm guessing people who get 10 second load times are seeing the map plus loading message pretty much instantly? 

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11 minutes ago, Treble said:

I'm guessing people who get 10 second load times are seeing the map plus loading message pretty much instantly? 

Yes. Something is up with your setup, clearly. 

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4 minutes ago, Moz said:

I can tell you the exact moment I realised VR was definitely going to stick around, and that this is the germ of something bigger that we'll continue to iterate on for decades to come, and that Valve are actually onto something here. I had pushed a door open with my left hand, just a little, and poked my gun through the gap to have a look around - already something you can't do outside of VR. A black headcrab launched itself at me from somewhere and I instinctively slammed the door shut. Pure instinct, just as I would have done in real life. I pushed the door ajar again and took a few shots at it, it launched itself at the door and I felt the door bang hard with the impact through the handle I was holding. I realised that my pistol was out of ammo - as was everything else. My brain melted instantly - I had to reach into my rucksack to grab a clip and put it in the gun, which requires two hands, but I was holding the door handle. I physically couldn't do it without letting go of the door, which if I timed it wrong the headcrab would bash against and cause it to fly open. So I did two things, first I stood in such a way to block the door with my body, and then I waited for the next leap at the door. As soon as it bounced off the door I let go, quickly reloaded, and went to grab the handle again - just as the headcrab banged into it and the door bumped hard again. Then I flung the door open while it was on the ground and popped two shots into it to finish it off. This whole interaction was totally gut-feel, running on pure instinct, and simply couldn't happen in any other medium besides VR. 

 

Wonderful example of how this could not translate to a flat screen and non motion controller.

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I was trying to think of how that moment, of which there are thousands in this game, could work on a controller or keyboard on a 2D screen. It just couldn't. What you're talking about is taking a series of static options - press A to open door, press RB to reload and so on, and throwing them open to the dynamic possibilities of doing everything in an analogue, manual fashion while physically moving in that space. The two are almost completely incomparable. 

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I’ve just finished this and realised I didn’t once throw a tv at a combines noggin. 
 

mini spoiler sort of 

 

Spoiler

I loved how creepy it was when combine call out Alyx’s name in a ‘normal’ voice. 

 

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Edit: I gots it.

 

Also, question for those who have finished it:

Spoiler

Can anyone give me a hint about how to repair the broken power line which links to the upgrade station that is found outside the Northern Star?

 

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Finished it this afternoon, 20 hours in all. I do spend an awful lot of time picking up things and chucking them around, and I'll never stop. 

 

Spoiler

Absolutely superb throughout. The Northern Star and Jeff are highlights from a terrifying perspective, as neither are places you want to be and the game delights in making sure you're stuck in cramped locations with nightmarish enemies. 

 

Speaking of the enemies, I love how the game has mostly turned the previous games in the series on their head. It used to be that a headcrab was an annoying fly to swat away, rarely capable of doing much damage and usually just there to annoy you. Here, they're the worst things to face. Their lunges always manage to invoke moments of genuine panic and fear, leaving you ducking out of the way and letting out gasps in response. Putting one down for good is always a moment of relief, and though you get better at dealing with them as the game goes on (oneshotting the armoured headcrabs feels tremendous), you're never fully comfortable.

 

A shotgun helps, mind.

 

My only niggle is down to my own setup. My PC has an i5 4590, so it's a little underpowered for the game. Looking around is silky smooth thanks to the 1080 I have, but in busier areas the hand movement was a little less than ideal and physics objects would have noticeable framerate issues. This bothered me only during the quieter moments, but when I get around to sorting out a new computer in the future, a replay of this will be back on the agenda.

 

Some more space would also be nice. I did once uppercut my desk when panicking and throwing a grenade back at the Combine.

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5 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

Finished it this afternoon, 20 hours in all. I do spend an awful lot of time picking up things and chucking them around, and I'll never stop. 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Absolutely superb throughout. The Northern Star and Jeff are highlights from a terrifying perspective, as neither are places you want to be and the game delights in making sure you're stuck in cramped locations with nightmarish enemies. 

 

Speaking of the enemies, I love how the game has mostly turned the previous games in the series on their head. It used to be that a headcrab was an annoying fly to swat away, rarely capable of doing much damage and usually just there to annoy you. Here, they're the worst things to face. Their lunges always manage to invoke moments of genuine panic and fear, leaving you ducking out of the way and letting out gasps in response. Putting one down for good is always a moment of relief, and though you get better at dealing with them as the game goes on (oneshotting the armoured headcrabs feels tremendous), you're never fully comfortable.

 

A shotgun helps, mind.

 

My only niggle is down to my own setup. My PC has an i5 4590, so it's a little underpowered for the game. Looking around is silky smooth thanks to the 1080 I have, but in busier areas the hand movement was a little less than ideal and physics objects would have noticeable framerate issues. This bothered me only during the quieter moments, but when I get around to sorting out a new computer in the future, a replay of this will be back on the agenda.

 

Some more space would also be nice. I did once uppercut my desk when panicking and throwing a grenade back at the Combine.

 

Yeah, I wish I had more space as well. I was thinking how cool it would be to set it up in my back garden during this lockdown and nice weather we are having. Also wireless. 

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Well, I finished this last night. Twenty hours played, and I did take my time exploring and messing around.

Obviously this is the best VR game to date, truly amazing. The end "level" was awesome, it made me feel so powerful!

I think games like this, Resident Evil VR on the PS4 (come on we need a PC version!) Astrobot, Beatsaber, Moss amongst others are the pinnacle of VR gaming.

I was an early adaptor of VR. I think I paid around £800 for my original Vive, and it still has to be the best gaming experience I have had, up there with moments like playing Super Mario 64 on import for the first time, going online for the first time on Dreamcast Phantasy Star Online etc.

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On 10/04/2020 at 17:41, Sumire said:

 

Yeah, I wish I had more space as well. I was thinking how cool it would be to set it up in my back garden during this lockdown and nice weather we are having. Also wireless. 

 

I've been playing this wirelessly on my Quest using Virtual Desktop and I'm amazed at how well it works. There's a bit of stuttering when the game first loads up, but after that it's a lot smoother than it has any right to be. I would say that it's almost identical to playing via the official link cable.

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I've been doing the same. As soon as I plugged in my link cable I was filled with the dreadful thoughts of yanking the cable and wrecking a port on either the quest or my new PC (built just so I can play this game). I'd previously assumed wi-fi wouldn't be up to the job but, after the recommendations in this thread, I gave Virtual Desktop a go and the link cable is now cast aside. The freedom of the quest concept was the selling point for me and to play quality, PC-bound VR games and still get that benefit (at the cost of an barely perceptible 15ms) is great.

I'll second the love for this game and I suspect it's only a matter of time before I point at a teaspoon and attempt to 'grabbity glove' yank it towards me before embarrassingly realising I'm not in VR.

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